The Transplant

So, I kind of gave up. My jelly jar herbs didn’t work out so well. Leaves were yellowing or falling off. The rocks at the bottom of the jars were growing algae. I just didn’t know what to do. Plus, I don’t think they ever would have grown big enough in the jars for me to harvest the two tablespoons of cilantro or whatever that my recipes always seem to call for–without stripping/killing the entire plant!

Nearly 3 months after I started with the jars, I made the trip to Home Depot for some bigger pots and new Miracle Grow soil. I also made a stop at the grocery store and picked up four of the potted herb plants they had outside on clearance.

My plan was to give each herb a little more space and either use the store-bought starter plant and my home-grown ones, plus another round of seeds to bulk up the foliage. I selected window boxes that I should be able to find a place for indoors and maybe keep them going through the winter (that will be the test!) I’m hoping that I’ll also get permission to use a certain fancy coral reef lamp from the abandoned saltwater aquarium in our living room…

On August 6, 2014, I “gardened” on the deck in the afternoon heat and got all sweaty and dirty. I transplanted seven herbs, plus a little jalapeño plant, into two 24-inch long garden boxes. I added a little more dirt the next day, but here’s how they looked that afternoon:

garden boxes leftgarden boxes right

chives (mine + help), parsley (mine + help), oregano (yeah, not mine), jalapeño (all mine)

chives (mine + help), parsley (mine + help), oregano (yeah, not mine), jalapeño (all mine)

dill (sadly, mine), basil (also, mine), cilantro (c'mon lil buddy!), mint (mine + help--guess which)

dill (sadly, mine), basil (also, mine), cilantro (c’mon lil buddy!), mint (mine + help–guess which)

I’m hoping they make it and I will have earned my pale green thumb. The sickly yellow one I’ve got going now is a little embarrassing!

Jelly Jar Herbs: Week 5

It’s like I’ve stunted my oregano’s growth! What am I doing wrong?!

This week, my darlings moved out[side] and they got an extra drink mid-week because I was worried they might be dehydrated. But… this is the kind of behavior that brings out the self-fulfilling prophecy side of me. (In case you didn’t know, I am a confessed plant-killer.) So, what do I do?


Plants for a Plant Killer

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Admittedly, I am a plant-killer. Some of my friends might remember my experiments with rosemary Christmas trees back in my 20s. (They smell soooooooooo good!)

Three of these beauties had to die before I hung up my gardener’s gloves. There obviously were no green thumbs inside those gloves anyway. It took me less than a week to kill the third plant.

So I gave up. Horticulture is not one of my strengths.

Recently, I saw a kit for herbs that you could grow in jelly jars for sale. The best part: you only were supposed to water them once a week to a predetermined level (the rock line). I thought, “Now this, I could do!”

Heck, even though it costs me less than a dollar a pop when I buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, it might be sort of nice to waste less and just have them handy when I want them. Jelly jars means they are portable and I can keep them on my deck if I want. Plus, there is a slightly smaller chance of mess or insects–which is important to me, since I don’t like bugs or getting dirty.

After a trip to Home Depot and Walmart, I came home with seeds, potting soil, pea gravel, perlite and half-pint jelly jars. Total cost: $27.53.

seedsI planted basil, dill, oregano, cilantro, parsley, spearmint and chives. (I also did a jar and a planter of jalepeños because I thought that might be fun–I have no idea if a jalepeño plant could be constrained to a small jar though, thus the planter.)

On May 7, the experiment began:

Jars 5-7-14